Lamproba festival: Svan tradition and mystique that survived through centuries
17 February, 2016
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Lamproba festival is celebrated in Svaneti region of Georgia in the early spring , but this time it coincided with the Christian holiday of Candlemas. Lamproba or Lamps Festival is linked to various symbols. The most widespread legend is that it was carried out in Svaneti in order to determine the number of warriors. Another version is that Lamproba was a kind of pagan ritual that aimed to ask the deities for better crops and weather. There is another version that tells that according to Svan tradition, the lamps were aimed at warming the souls of the dead.

Lamproba is linked to the moon calendar, which is why it is celebrated in different periods of the year, mainly in February or March. The main attribute of this festival is a lamp, which is made from oak or birch tree branches.

In Higher Svaneti, the festival is also called Svimonoba (Simon’s festival),
where it was conducted similar to Berikaoba, with Ceasar, his wives and viziers being elected.
Lamproba is also celebrated by Svans living in other regions of Georgia, including Dmanisi.

From church, people went to the place where Svimonoba was celebrated and the owner of that place was the host of the whole community. After performing religious hymns, the participants of the ceremony lit the candles and walked around the house. Later they would put the candles near the barn. Then the participants wrestled, danced and played various games.

Look through the photos from the festival:
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Video/Photo courtesy of Irakli Gedenidze

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